The motto Totus Tuus was the main theme throughout the life of Karol Wojtyla, the “Marian thread” woven in a long and continuous path to holiness.Totus Tuus! Two words that are a prayer addressed to Jesus through Mary, in her Immaculate Heart. In the same sense, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux defined Love in her final poem to Mary: “Love means giving everything, and giving yourself” (Why I Love You, O Mary, PN 54:22).
“I love you” means: “I give myself to you, I am yours forever.”
The Totus Tuus is the short and essential prayer that animated the entire life of Karol Wojtyła, a life totally given to the Lord, to the Church, and to all men and women, continually lived with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. Louis-Marie de Montfort and Thérèse of Lisieux are in effect like two “lighthouses of holiness” who illuminated the pontificate of John Paul II in a special way, in the great perspective of the Second Vatican Council traced by Lumen Gentium, in chapter 8 on Mary in the Mystery of Christ and the Church and chapter 5 on the universal call to holiness. Louis-Marie is the saint who had the greatest influence on the entire life of Karol Wojtyła, while Thérèse of Lisieux is the only saint declared by him to be a Doctor of the Church.
François-Marie Léthel, OCD La Lumière du Christ dans le Coeur de l’Église
ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II TO THE BISHOPS OF VIETNAM ON THEIR “AD LIMINA” VISIT
Tuesday, 17 June 1980
Last year in taking possession of his titular church, your dear Cardinal said that the Church in Vietnam has always found “a mother’s powerful hand” in Mary. I entrust to her protection your ecclesial mission and that of all the Christians in your country.
Just returning from my pilgrimage to Lisieux, permit me also to invoke the little Carmelite, St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who is linked to Vietnam in many ways. Her Carmel is at the origins of Carmelite life in your homeland and, if her health had permitted it, she would have gladly gone to your country.
O Jesus, what ingratitude and misjudgment, that the people, among whom you generously journeyed, reward your love with the demand:
“To the Cross with Him”.
But you must have felt even more oppressed that Pilate, under the pretense of administering the law as if without guilt and impotent to this demand, despite the statement of finding no guilt in You, condemns You to the most barbaric and scandalous Crucifixion. But You endure it and keep silent.
O Mary, how that savage cry of the people and that unjust judgment of Pilate, like a sword of affliction, must have pierced the heart. But You also endure it and remain silent like Jesus, Your Son.
How difficult it is for us to tolerate an unjust verdict.
Blessed Titus Brandsma Meditation on the Stations of the Cross, 1942
Let us live with God as with a friend, let us make our faith a living faith in order to be in communion with Him through everything, for that is what makes saints.
We possess our Heaven within us
Since He who satisfies the hunger of the glorified in the light of vision gives Himself to us in faith and mystery, it is the Same One! It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth since Heaven is God and God is in my soul.
The day I understood that, everything became clear to me.
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Letter 122 to Madame de Sourdon (excerpt) Shortly after 15 June 1902
Where among you, tell me, are to be found preachers, well versed in the word of God, and fit to preach as it should be done?
Some there are, indeed, presumptuous enough, in their craving for vainglory, to attempt it, and to trot out to the people such scraps as they have been able to cull from books, in an effort to teach others what they themselves know neither by study nor by experience. They prate away before the common folk—without understanding a word of their own rigmarole—as bold-faced as though all theology lay digested in the stomach of their memory, and any tale will serve their turn if it can be given a mystical twist and made to redound to their own glory. Then, when they have done preaching—or rather tale telling—there they stand, ears all pricked up and itching to catch the slightest whisper of flattery. But not a vestige do they show of the endowments for which, in their appetite for vainglory, they long to be praised.
Nicholas the Frenchman Ignea Sagitta: The Flaming Arrow
Chapter 4, 36-37
The Flaming Arrow: Ignea Sagitta. Nicholas Prior General of the Carmelite Order (1266-1271); The complete text translated from the critical edition of Adrian Staring O. Carm.; by Bede Edwards O.C.D.
In a particular way, I wish to greet the Discalced Carmelite Fathers of Górka in Wadowice. We are meeting on an exceptional occasion: 27 August this year marks the centenary of the consecration of the Church of Saint Joseph, at the Convent founded by Saint Raphael Kalinowski. As I did as a young man, I now return in spirit to that place of particular devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which had such a great influence on the spirituality of the Wadowice area. I myself received many graces there, and today I wish to thank the Lord for them.
I am pleased that I was able to beatify, together with one hundred and eight martyrs, Blessed Father Alfons Maria Mazurek, a pupil and later a worthy teacher in the minor seminary attached to the Convent. I had the opportunity to meet personally this witness of Christwho in 1944, as prior of the convent of Czerna, confirmed his fidelity to God by a martyr’s death.
I kneel in veneration before his relics, which rest in the Church of Saint Joseph, and I give thanks to God for the gift of the life, martyrdom and holiness of this great Religious.
Saint John Paul II Wadowice, 16 June 1999 Homily excerpts
Yes, dear Sister, like that great passionate, illuminated Magdalene, let us pass through everything, lost in His Infinity! “Many sins will be forgiven her because she has loved much!” (Lk 7:47) That is what He asks of us: Love that no longer looks at self, but leaves itself and ascends higher than its own feelings, its own impressions; Love that gives itself, surrenders itself, Love “that establishes Unity.” Let us live like Mary Magdalene through everything, day [and] night, in light or darkness, always beneath the eyes of Unchanging Beauty that wishes to fascinate us, to captivate us, more than that, to deify us!
Oh, my Sister, “to be Him,” that is my whole dream; then, do you believe that the Father, who contemplates His adored Word in us, can resist the powerful prayer that one glance, one desire can become? Oh yes, let us be Him, and “let us go to the Father” in the movement of His divine soul.
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Letter 121 to Sister Agnès of Jésus-Marie 11 June 1902
The third stage is… communion with the greatness of Jesus, the infinite greatness of his Divinity in the Trinity. It is the sense of the Offering to Merciful Love (9 June 1895), in the account of the final pages of Manuscript A (Ms A, 83v-84v), and in the Act of the Offering itself (Pri 6). Here the Christocentrism of Thérèse becomes explicitly Trinitarian: to the love of the Father who gave his Son to Thérèse as Savior and Spouse, and who looks upon her and always loves her through the Face of Jesus, and in his Heart burning with love in the Fire of the Holy Spirit, Thérèse responds through the total gift of herself as “victim of holocaust” for the salvation of all: she offers herself to the Father through Christ in the Spirit, through the hands of Mary. This Offering is central within the doctrine of Thérèse. It is her fundamental proposition of holiness for all the baptized. We also can say that it is at the heart of her theological methodology because this total gift of self to Jesus through Love is absolutely indispensable in order to know, in-depth, the Mystery of the Love of Jesus.
François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D. La Lumière du Christ dans le Coeur de l’Église
First of all, let none of our subjects, in any case whatsoever, fail to object at least once or twice to that which obedience might demand of him or her. If they raise objections three or four or five times or even more, we will reward them when they appear before us.
Servant of God Father Jerome Gratian Constitutions of the Cerro, or Treatise on Melancholy
Translation of a Work of Jerome Gratian: An Example of Teresian Humor
I have come to bring you news of our sick, and it is quite satisfactory. Uncle is having great difficulty recovering from his last attack. His breathing is very heavy at times like someone out of breath, then there are two minutes when he has no air to breath at all. He has been looking very exhausted and despondent since his last attack, so his condition is still very precarious….
Your little sister
Marie Guérin Sister Marie of the Eucharist (1870-1905)
On 5 June 1894, St. Louis Martin suffered the first of two serious heart attacks that ultimately led to his death on 29 July 1894 at 70 years of age. Read the account of his heart attack here and the rest of Marie’s letter here.
They could not sufficiently admire the genius of Madame Acarie
The people came in crowds to Notre Dame des Champs to see the Carmelites take possession of their monastery; distinguished persons also assisted in great numbers at this touching ceremony. All praised God for the new Order of religious that had been established, returned thanks to Spain for the present she had made to France in giving Saints for foundresses. After the Spanish religious had taken possession of the [priory], they examined the interior arrangements. They could not sufficiently admire the genius of Mme. Acarie, who had known how, in so small a space, to make all the proper arrangements, together with all that was necessary for a community. They then visited the new buildings which were on the other side of the church, and the way in which this intelligent woman had grouped them seemed to them equally admirable.
Marcel Bouix, S.J., editor (1806-1889) Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew
Our question now is: what makes the prophet certain
that he is standing before God?
Seeing with the eyes or in the imagination does not necessarily have anything to do with this. When both are absent there may still be an inner certainty that it is God who is speaking.
This certainty can rest on the feeling that God is present; one feels touched in his innermost being by him, by the One present. We call this the experienceof God in the most proper sense. It is the core of all mystical living experience: the person-to-person encounter with God. A sensible vision, like that of Isaiah, may accompany it as an extraordinary attendant phenomenon.
On the other hand,
is a vision like this conceivable
without a personal, inner experience of God?
Saint Edith Stein Ways to Know God: Experience
4c1) Revelation, Inspiration, and Supernatural Experience of God
Nota Bene: Translator Walter Redmond rendered Erfahrung as experience of God and Erlebnis as mystical living experience.
we had the happiness of going to com[muni]on, the Same hour as before. mr neale receiv’d it from mr P. after having given it to us. the weather fine wind fair, some part of the day was almost a calm. I was dressed in a fine Silk petticoat and a chince jacket th[a]t had been given me in alms — w[hi]ch was So becoming & made me look So Extraordinarily fine th[a]t all my companions were jealous of me.
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. (Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830) Journal of a Trip to America, 3rd June 1790
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers from Texel, Netherlands— departing 25 April — to New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”. Although she makes no mention of it in her diary entry on the third of June, Mother Clare Joseph was quietly celebrating the anniversary of her profession in the Carmel of Antwerp on 3 June 1773. As for the mention of the petticoat and jacket: the nuns traveled in civilian attire.
Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D. Silence Retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise, Conference Eight Thursday evening, 9 September 1943
The Servant of God Jacques de Jésus, O.C.D., who was a professed friar of the Province of Paris-Avon, an ordained priest, and the headmaster of the Discalced Carmelite friars’ boys’ preparatory school at Avon, the Petit Collège Sainte-Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jésus, died on this date, 2 June 1945 in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Linz, Austria following 70 weeks in Nazi prison camps. Père Jacques was weakened by a year of hard labor and harsh conditions at Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps in Austria; when the Allied Forces liberated the camps on 5 May 1945, he summoned the strength to help restore order and organize relief efforts. But 15 days later the Allied camp commanders transferred him to St. Elizabeth Hospital so that he could be close to the community of the Discalced Carmelite friars at Linz. It was there that he succumbed to illness and exhaustion at 45 years of age.
The diocesan process of his cause for beatification was opened in 1990. You can find the prayer for his beatification here and the website for his cause here.
The World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem has a featured story dedicated to Père Jacques. It includes a description of his heroic acts to shelter Jewish students at the preparatory school, for which he was arrested. It also quotes the testimony of witnesses to his arrest and imprisonment and provides links to read full accounts of witnesses’ testimonies. On 17 January 1985 Yad Vashem recognized Père Jacques as Righteous Among the Nations. You can read the Yad Vashem featured story, find the links, and see the Yad Vashem photos here.
Listen to the Silence – A Retreat with Père Jacques, is available for purchase from the publisher, ICS Publications.
I ardently desire to live in God’s will, I know that this is this way saints are made, and I want to become a saint to give glory to God.
Blessed Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified (Giuseppina Catanea) From her diary
Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified, a professed nun of the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Saints Teresa and Joseph at Ponti Rossi in Naples, Italy, was beatified 1 June 2008 in the Cathedral of Naples, Italy. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe presided at the Eucharist and Rite of Beatification, to whom Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, sent a message as the representative of Pope Benedict XVI.
When I read in the Gospel “that Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea” (Lk 1:39) to perform her loving service for her cousin Elizabeth, I imagine her passing by so beautiful, so calm and so majestic, so absorbed in recollection of the Word of God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always this: “Ecce, here I am!” Who? “The servant of the Lord,” (Lk 1:38) the lowliest of His creatures: she, His Mother! Her humility was so real for she was always forgetful, unaware, freed from self. And she could sing: “The Almighty has done great things for me, henceforth all peoples will call me blessed.” (Lk 1:49, 48)
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Last Retreat, Fifteenth Day
Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.
The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God because God does not want anyone to be afraid and remain asleep. Precisely at the time of greater darkness and weariness is when the prophet listens once again to the word of the Lord — two different times — speaking through an angel, saying: “Get up and eat.”
After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.
Sometimes crisis in our lives is so great and there is so much discouragement, that it is difficult to get up and walk; but God is not overcome by our weakness.
God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, because the road before you is very long, it is greater than your strength”.
God does not want us to feel fearful; neither does he want us to sleep. That is why he feeds the prophet, just like he feeds all of us when we feel deflated, frustrated, and hopeless.
God takes what seems like the end of the road and turns it into a new horizon; what we experience as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. Homily, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B (excerpt) Mount Tabor Parish, Managua — 12 August 2018
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. is one of eighteen living bishops who are affiliated with the Discalced Carmelite order; he is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua. He began his Discalced Carmelite formation in the General Delegation of Central America in 1979 and was ordained a priest 15 January 1985. He pursued advanced studies in Sacred Scripture and biblical geography and archeology in Rome and Jerusalem. In 1999 he defended his doctoral thesis in biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on the subject, Tiempo de callar y tiempo de hablar: el silencio en la Biblia Hebrea(A time to keep silence, and a time to speak: silence in the Hebrew Bible). Serving as a seminary professor, he authored numerous articles and books, speaking at conferences and retreats, and served on the council of the general delegation. In 2006 he was appointed Vice-President of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Teresianum in Rome, where he was Professor of Sacred Scripture and Biblical Theology and Spirituality; in addition, he was the editor of the theology journal Teresianum. On 9 April 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Managua and Titular Bishop of Zica.
On 30 May 2009 Silvio José Báez, O.C.D, was ordained bishop in the Cathedral of Managua. The principal consecrator was Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes Solórzano, Archbishop of Managua; the principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Henryk Józef Nowacki, Titular Archbishop of Blera and Bishop César Bosco Vivas Robelo, Bishop of León en Nicaragua.
You may view his episcopal lineage / apostolic succession here.
Scripture commentary translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission